Ex-IAAF chief to face new charges

PARIS • French investigators on Monday hit former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack with new corruption charges linked to doping cover-ups in world athletics.

The Senegalese is suspected of turning a blind eye to doping cases, notably involving Russian athletes, in exchange for money.

Investigators also suspect him of making cash payments totalling €140,000 (S$214,700) to Gabriel Dolle, a doctor for the IAAF who has also been charged with corruption.

Diack, 82, denies making the payments. It is these suspicions that led to the new charges.

He has already been charged with corruption, money laundering and conspiracy along with his legal advisor Habib Cisse and Dolle.

Diack's lawyer Daouda Diop did not respond to attempts to contact him.

Following his arrest in November, Diack resigned from his position on the International Olympic Committee, where he had served as an honorary member.

The Senegalese national served as head of the IAAF for 16 years until August, when he was succeeded by Sebastian Coe.

Last month, Russia was provisionally suspended from track and field over accusations of "state-sponsored" doping as the IAAF scrambled to salvage the sport's credibility just nine months out from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Just last week, Diack denied accusations that he had received a donation from Russia of €1.5 million to help fund Senegal president Macky Sall's election campaign in 2012.

Diack was quoted by French newspaper Le Monde as saying that former Russian Athletics Federation president Valentin Balakhnishev, a former IAAF treasurer, had made the payments to help Sall's campaign.

"It was necessary at the time to win the 'battle of Dakar' - that is, change those who were in power in my country Senegal," he said, according to taped legal interviews cited by Le Monde.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Ex-IAAF chief to face new charges'. Print Edition | Subscribe